Synthace collaborates with Oxford BioMedica, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and Stratophase
The agreement – a £2 million two-year collaboration co-funded by Innovate UK – is to explore a next-generation gene and cell therapy manufacturing platform for clinical and commercial applications.
Oxford BioMedica plc (“Oxford BioMedica” or “the Group”) (LSE:OXB), a leading gene and cell therapy group, has announced it has agreed, as lead partner, to enter into a collaboration agreement with a consortium of partners, including the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, Stratophase Ltd and Synthace Ltd. The agreement is a two-year £2 million collaboration project focused on gene and cell therapy manufacturing, co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.
The aim of the collaboration is to explore and apply novel advanced technologies to further evolve OXB’s proprietary suspension LentiVector® platform to deliver even higher quality vectors for both clinical and commercial use. The project aims to deliver tangible benefits to patients by shortening the time-to-clinic and time-to-market as well as to improve the cost and access of bringing novel gene and cell therapies to patients.
Each partner in the collaboration holds proprietary technology and know-how that can be used to develop an innovative approach to viral vector manufacturing. The aims of this pioneering project are closely aligned with the current government national priorities to make the UK a global hub for manufacturing advanced therapies, which will benefit economic growth and create and retain more highly skilled employment.
John Dawson, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford BioMedica, the consortium lead, commented: “Cell and gene therapies offer unprecedented promise for the cure, treatment or long-term management of disease and we are delighted that this consortium has been awarded funding from Innovate UK that will help to keep Oxford BioMedica, our partners and the UK, at the forefront of innovation in industrial viral vector manufacturing.
Keith Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, commented: “Collaborating on developing improved process analytic technologies with our partners will help drive productivity in viral vector manufacturing, accelerating the development of these transformative advanced therapies. We have the opportunity to both transform patients’ lives and grow an industry in the UK that we can be proud of”
Simon Saxby, Chief Executive Officer of Stratophase, commented: “We are looking forward to working as a member of such a strong partnership. We see our inclusion as validation of our Ranger® adaptive control technology which is gaining significant traction in the biotech and cell and gene therapy sectors. Overall, we are delighted at the prospect of actively contributing to the accelerated development of novel, cost-effective advanced therapies”.
Sean Ward, Chief Technical Officer of Synthace, commented: “Antha, our high-level language and operating system for biology, was developed to empower researchers to tackle highly complex biological problems. Cell and gene therapies are one of the most challenging and impactful applications of modern biotechnology, and we are excited to be working with our experienced partners to expand the capabilities of Antha to help in this domain.”
About Oxford BioMedica
Oxford BioMedica (LSE:OXB) is a leading gene and cell therapy group focused on developing life-changing treatments for serious diseases. Oxford BioMedica and its subsidiaries (the “Group”) have built a sector leading lentiviral vector delivery platform (LentiVector®), which the Group leverages to develop in vivo and ex vivo products both in-house and with partners. The Group has created a valuable proprietary portfolio of gene and cell therapy product candidates in the areas of oncology, ophthalmology and CNS disorders. The Group has also entered into a number of partnerships, including with Novartis, Sanofi, GSK, Orchard Therapeutics and Immune Design, through which it has long-term economic interests in other potential gene and cell therapy products. Oxford BioMedica is based across several locations in Oxfordshire, UK and employs more than 250 people. Further information is available at www.oxfordbiomedica.co.uk.
About Innovate UK
Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. It works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy. For further information visit: www.innovateuk.gov.uk.
About Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult
The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult was established as an independent centre of excellence to advance the growth of the UK cell and gene therapy industry, by bridging the gap between scientific research and full-scale commercialisation. With more than 120 employees focusing on cell and gene therapy technologies, it works with partners in academia and industry to ensure these life-changing therapies can be developed for use in health services throughout the world. It offers leading-edge capability, technology and innovation to enable companies to take products into clinical trials and provide clinical, process development, manufacturing, regulatory, health economics and market access expertise. Its aim is to make the UK the most compelling and logical choice for UK and international partners to develop and commercialise these advanced therapies. The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult works with Innovate UK. For more information please visit ct.catapult.org.uk or visit www.gov.uk/innovate-uk.
Stratophase is a specialist biotech services company that is revolutionising the timelines associated with the development and commercialisation of biologics. This is achieved by the adaptive control and optimisation of bioreactor environments using its patented Ranger® optical sensing technology. Ranger is scale-independent and enables cell culture optimisation to be achieved in real-time, through the on-line assessment of metabolic activity. The company has a wealth of application data and expertise, gained through its on-going collaborations with industry-leading biopharma innovators. Stratophase was established in 1999 and is based in Romsey, near Southampton, UK. For more information visit: www.stratophase.com.
Synthace is developing Antha, a language and software platform specifically for biology that lets researchers aim higher and achieve better results, faster. Antha is designed to make reproducible and scalable workflows that can be readily edited and shared, and easily automated on labs’ existing equipment. In 2016, the World Economic Forum included Synthace in its selection of the world’s 30 most promising Technology Pioneers that are helping shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution – a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to one another.